Friday, April 18, 2003

"Every day is Ashura and every land is Kerbala" - Imam Jafar Sadeq. Today is Good Friday (and the second day of Passover). I don't hear people say "Every day is Good Friday and every place is Calvary" but it's not an unknown sentiment because two of the google hits (for the first part) were for Jerusalem and the Middle East. Apparently someone called Bossuet did say something like the above:

“Every day is Good Friday; every day the scene of Calvary is enacted on our altars.” (describing Catholic Mass)

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Hezbollah and Americans. "So they can expect harshly worded letters."

The release of Qasem Shol'eh Saadi was connected to Amnesty, apparently... and Satellite TV is being promoted again (from SMCCDI.)

A pseudonymous writer for Eurasianet says that both the UK and Iran governments tried to hush reporting of the attempted "suicide attack" (?) on the British Embassy in Tehran. How does one go about that? It can't be easy in the age of weblogs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

NYTimes on Iraqi complaints. They are just like (some) Iranians! Or is it the other way around?

But individual protest has almost reached a fever pitch, as scores of Iraqis around the city asked reporters if it was true that Mr. Hussein was now in the United States (the evidence: that Baghdad fell so quickly, a deal must have been struck). They are also, in greater numbers, beginning to blame American soldiers for the looting that has stripped the nation's property bare, from desk chairs to ancient Sumerian artifacts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Iran’s war apprehension is growing. The director of Middle East studies at Brown University (an Ivy League university) writes something I didn't know.

"The office of Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, has prepared invasion plans for both Syria and Iran. However, they have not yet been presented to the National Security Council or the President. Moreover, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice is reported to be opposed to any further military action in the Middle East."

There may well be invasion plans for many countries, after all, the US military dwarfs all others.

There's lots of news today, I'm having trouble keeping up. All is from google news or Iranvajahan.

Japan's foreign minister urges Iran to come clean on weapons program. When a logical successful country talks to an illogical failed one, will they listen? Perhaps criticism from Japan can help make up for the lack of self-examination from inside the country.

Iraqi playing cards.

Israel Radio comments on implications of Iraq war for Iran.

Iranian Hard-liner Says U.S. Must 'Reward' Tehran. He and his ilk have been yelling "Death to America" for 25 years and now they expect a reward? Stay in cloud cuckoo land.

Clerics see writing on the wall. Shahla Azizi chats to taxi drivers and people in Tehran - but this may not be objective because they respond according to how you are dressed, she admits.

Finally, fun stuff... language reading abilities among New Zealand boys have dropped [New Zealand] alongside Iran, Belize and Kuwait when it comes to the difference between the sexes. And Melanie Griffith shows if you try to look young it just makes you look old. (Or freaky, like Michael Jackson.)

Monday, April 14, 2003

Secret deal.

An Iranian news agency close to top conservative military figures attributed the fall of Baghdad to a secret tripartite agreement between Saddam Hussain, Russia and the U.S.

Uh huh. Go and re-read that comment about Middle Eastern media a few days ago. But what's worrying is how the Iranian leadership still doesn't see the link between "cause" and "effect". They are back in the earliest stage of human development, somehow.

Some US "analysts" are no better though. Finally Michael Ledeen reveals the neo-con plan for Iran:

"We, and the Iranian people, want a peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy. There is even a suitable leader for the transition period: the late shah's son, Reza Pahlavi, widely admired inside Iran despite his refreshing lack of avidity for power or wealth."

My jaw just dropped. Who *IS* this guy talking to inside Iran? Did he read "Answering Only to God" by Abdo and Lyons, and did he listen to their press conference where they said this isn't going to work? He's playing and dancing to a completely different tune.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

The Salt Lake Tribune has an article asking whether many teachers and students will move from Qom to Najaf. Recommended reading for today is: "The Mantle of the Prophet" by Roy Mottahedeh. It is one of the best books on religion and politics in Iran, and it's written in English by a Harvard professor. (Is that strange?)

If the history of Iran and Iraq has taught the people anything, though, it's that charismatic leaders are dangerous, especially if they become dictators.